Jon is a neighbor in our compound from California. He recently returned from a visit home. We visited with him and talked of the dramatic differences between life at home and life here. He told a funny story about working at a Starbucks after having been in Africa. He was amazed when a female customer came and yelled at him because the amount of foam on her latte was not up to standard. He said to himself:
Are you kidding me? You are upset about the amount of foam on your coffee? Do you know where I’ve been and what I’ve seen? And this is a big deal?
We talked of how everything is really relative after all. To one person, foam is a crisis while to another, death in the family is a regular occurance. As we talked, it was apparent that everybody has challenges within their realm of experience. It is not fair to judge any challenge based on the yardstick of others and we must withhold judgement because someone’s world crisis pales by comparison.
How will we look at issues at home upon our return? Will we be able to make the jump from Uganda to the U.S. without mental whiplash?
Even here in Uganda there is great disparity in the circumstances people are handed. I shared how I hate it when I get my socks wet when I go to the bathroom if the floor was not property dried after using the shower – while others use a hole in the ground (called a long-drop) for their potty and feel fortunate.
So, your challenges are big to you regardless of those of others. Look at these categories and consider your life by comparison. It’s all relative.
Missionary trucks are usually the only vehicles in the parking lot at church. There may also be a boda (motorbike) and a few bicycles, but everyone else foots it.
From sleeping under the veranda on the streets to palatial living. Life is certainly neither fair nor equal.